Future high-lift systems must achieve improved aerodynamic performance with simpler designs that involve fewer elements and reduced maintenance costs. To expeditiously achieve this, reliable CFD design tools are required. The development of useful CFD-based design tools for high lift systems requires increased attention to unresolved flow physics issues. The complex flow field over any multi-element airfoil may be broken down into certain generic component flows which are termed high-lift building block flows. In this report a broad spectrum of key flow field physics issues relevant to the design of improved high lift systems are considered. It is demonstrated that in-flight experiments utilizing the NASA Dryden Flight Test Fixture (which is essentially an instrumented ventral fin) carried on an F-15B support aircraft can provide a novel and cost effective method by which both Reynolds and Mach number effects associated with specific high lift building block flows can be investigated. These in-flight high lift building block flow experiments are most effective when performed in conjunction with coordinated ground based wind tunnel experiments in low speed facilities. For illustrative purposes three specific examples of in-flight high lift building block flow experiments capable of yielding a high payoff are described. The report concludes with a description of a joint wind tunnel/flight test approach to high lift aerodynamics research.